Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Other Items

Strengthening a pragmatic rapprochement, Rupert Murdoch has agreed to give a fund-raiser this summer for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the latest sign of cooperation between the conservative media mogul and the Democratic lawmaker who has often been a prime target of his newspaper and television outlets.
"I am very gratified that he thinks I am doing a good job," Mrs. Clinton said in the Capitol on Tuesday, according to a transcript made available by her office after word of the fund-raising event was first reported by The Financial Times.

The above is from Anne E. Kornblut's "What's in a Murdoch-Clinton Alliance? Something for Both Sides" in this morning's New York Times whose subtitle should be "Frame of Reference ends at these shores." It's shocking only to those who don't know of (or don't make the connection to) Murdoch hopping in bed with Tony Blair. (Or vice versa.) This is big business as usual meeting craven politics (as usual). There's a "gee, she doesn't need the money" quality to the article that fails to note that she always craves it (like most politicians). What is it? An audition for Hillary.

Think of it as American Political Idol. There's no chance in hell that she'll lose her seat in the November elections. Rupert needs an ally (he always needs more allies and America is the wore for those alliances). Hillary wants to be president. He tosses a little influence her way in this state election and she saunters out on stage to try and sing the tune that'll impress him enough (we know she can!) for him to make her American Political Idol and help sweep her into the White House. He already "made" Tony Blair, now he has a chance to do it again.

Martha notes Spencer S. Hsu's "Arrests Target Use of Illegal Workers" (Washington Post):

Federal authorities announced the arrests yesterday of four construction supervisors and 76 illegal immigrants at a Kentucky home-building company, continuing a promised government crackdown on employers that rely on illegal labor.
The arrests at Fischer Homes, a leading builder in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, followed the April 19 arrests of seven current and former managers and more than 1,100 workers for Ifco Systems North America Inc., a subsidiary of a Dutch manufacturer of plastic crates and wooden pallets.

Question. If this is "continuing a promised government crackdown on employers that rely on illegal labor," why is it a) stopping with supervisors and managers and b) so weighted against workers (four supervisors to 76 undocumented immigrants; 19 supervisors to 1,100 undocumented workers)?

Lloyd notes Matthew Rothschild's "George Takei, Mr. Sulu of Star Trek, Comes Out and Speaks Out" (This Just In, The Progressive):

This is the transcript of an interview with George Takei of Star Trek fame. Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, conducted the interview on April 19, 2006. You can listen to the interview here (
I'm Matt Rothschild, and welcome to Progressive Radio. My guest today is Star Trek's Mr. Sulu, who came out last year to work with the Human Rights Campaign to combat the rightwing's push against gay marriage.
George Takei: It's a pleasure to be with you and to discuss this issue with you. But let me put what you said about me coming out last year in context. I've been together with my partner Brad Altman for two decades now. We've been out with our family and friends and with various activities we're involved with in the civic community. We support nonprofits. Our names have been engraved together in granite on donors' walls. So we've been out, in that sense. But what I'd not done is talk to the press, you guys, because you're a whole different ball game.
But last year our California legislature did an extraordinary thing, a historic thing, a landmark event: They passed the same-sex marriage bill, something that the Massachusetts legislature had not even done. It was a judicial process that brought about the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. We were elated. All that was required for that bill to become the law of the state was the autograph of another actor, who also happens to be the governor of the state of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Q: Did you expect him to sign it?
Takei: We did, because when he ran for office, he made all these moderate political statements. He’s from Hollywood, he’s worked with gays and lesbians, he’s comfortable with gays and lesbians, some of his best friends, you know, all these cliches, and many people voted for him on that basis. When he betrayed them and played to the narrowest, most reactionary, conservative segment of his base and vetoed that bill I felt I needed to speak out. And in order for me to do that, I felt my voice needed to be authentic. And so I spoke to the press for the first time.

Note for those who haven't checked out Progressive Radio, each week, Rothschild does an interview for a half-hour. If it doesn't air in your area (or if you want to hear it again), you can listen online (for free).

Remember today's scheduled topic for Democracy Now!:

Democracy Now! broadcasts from Boston, MA. We'll speak with longtime civil rights worker, antiwar activist, and community organizer, James Carroll, about his new book "House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power"

And, yes, Amy Goodman is (I hestiate to put this in) in Boston:

* Amy Goodman in Boston, MA:
Wed, May 10
*TIME: 10 AM
Elizabeth Neuffer Forum on Human Rights and Journalism
JFK Presidential Library and Museum Smith Hall
There is no cost to attend the luncheon, but space is limited.
For more information:
RSVP by May 5 to
or telephone (202) 496-1998 Ext. 5
Columbia Point
Boston, MA

Hesitate because Mike was eager to attend but unless there's a miracle healing taking place in that area right now, he's sidelined with chicken pox. If you're noncontagious and in the Boston area, make a point to check out the luncheon (provided they aren't all booked up).

And on the subeject of Mike, he did post from the sick bed. In fact, the following sites all have new content on them:

Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man;
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix;
Mike of Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz;
and Wally of The Daily Jot

What of Kat? Is she slacking! (I'm sure someone will accuse her of that.) No, she's focusing on reviews for this site and last night posted "Kat's Korner: Need deeper? Check out Josh Ritter's The Animal Years." She's intending to post another review tonight, so watch for that. Also, the HUD secretary is boasting of the fact that he denies (government) business to those who don't love Bully Boy (spokesperson says he lied). I'm rushing this morning since I've had to redo these entries, but Rebecca covered it last night, so be sure to read that.

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